Oppression, for centuries, has been an infamous weapon used to inflict nothing but harm wherever it strikes. In today’s society where information can be shared with the world within an instant, people have found more ways to abuse this weapon even further.
A young refugee has found himself at a dead end when he was forced to start a new life alone, just because he lived in a society that oppressed one of his most fundamental traits.
The Graveyard Of Empires
Afghanistan is an extremely rough place to live in, since it has been in war for over 40 years. This already life threatening fact, along with its own extremely corrupt government, makes it a place where there is no room for peace. However, it became even rougher for a 12 year old boy when he realized his true identity.
The boy, addressed as Hassan for privacy, realized at a very young age that he actually had an attraction towards other men rather than women. Being homosexual is assumed to be a terrible crime in Afghanistan, to the point where it could be punishable by death, so when the boy found out his true sexual orientation, he knew he was in grave danger.
The reason for homosexuals being so despised in Afghanistan is that they are viewed as being on the same level as pedophiles, prostitutes, and rapists. The law views it as a taboo, rather than a cultural identity. The society in Afghanistan oppresses many cultural aspects like this, so this boy knew he couldn’t live as a gay man in this country without the risk of being arrested, or killed.
This extra sense of danger put an equally disturbing sense of stress on Hassan. The only options for him would be to either live the rest of his life hiding his true identity and go against his own spirit, or escape from Afghanistan and live his life somewhere else. Of course, he decided to choose the latter.
He trusted his parents for who they were, because they also wanted to leave Afghanistan to live a peaceful life elsewhere. And so, he decided to confess his sexual orientation to them, and told them that he would be willing to support the family in moving to a different country. The response he got was a merciless beating…
Unfortunately, Hassan’s parents also fell for the inclinations of society, putting the law of the corrupt government over their own son. His father didn’t hold back when beating him with his cane, and his mother didn’t refrain from shouting at him as if he killed somebody. He learned the hard way that the only person he can trust is himself and nobody else.
Not His Home
On the night after the beating, Hassan knew he couldn’t live in this home, nor in this country. He decided to gather his clothes, food, and money, and set off to live somewhere else. He had neighbors that knew him and his family, so he had to make sure that nobody saw him. On that night, he set off on the journey for a new life of freedom.
After trying vainly to live freely in other countries and walking for miles upon miles, Hassan at 18 years finally arrived at Austria. He quickly found that life was significantly tougher than the other countries he lived in, especially because of Austria’s high standard lifestyle. His first goal was to find an apartment to live in, and a roommate to help with his staggering financial burden…
Homeless And Oppressed
Unfortunately, the three potential roommates he tried contacting all rejected him and spat at him once he brought up his identity. For a few days, Hassan didn’t have a home to live in. He was a young adult who had a long life ahead of him, yet he couldn’t live this life just because he was gay. Then, he finally found a place to live in that could accept him: a homosexual asylum.
Queer Base, the name of the organization, was quick to have a worker meet with him for a testimony at an asylum hearing. Hassan was more than nervous about this; if he failed to get his story across in the right words, he would lose his chance of finally having a home to live in again after six years…
He spilled out everything he remembered, from the terror he felt in his childhood, to the psychological trauma of being beaten by his own parents for a trivial reason. He emphasized the stress he felt when entering and leaving countries that he thought were the right place for him, until they showed him the same ferocity on their faces that his parents had on that day. He hoped that this would be enough for the organization to accept him…
The worker left the room, telling Hassan that he will return soon with their decision. Hassan sat quietly in his chair, glancing at the clock every few seconds. One minute passed. Two, then three. Ten more minutes passed, and he was more than unnerved at this point. He wasn’t sure if them taking long was a good or bad thing, and this only added to his nervousness.
Hassan was startled when he heard the doorknob turn. He sat back up in the most professional position possible, before the man returned to his seat. “We’ve made our decision,” he uttered. While he continued talking to him, Hassan realized that the worker’s voice was more monotone than before. When it was too late, the reality of the situation slowly dawned upon the poor 18 year old.
Hassan was yet again rejected by a place he hoped to call home. The worst part to this is that the place was made for the purpose of housing oppressed homosexuals just like him, yet the world refused to let him live there, too. He had to know why this was happening.
The Worst Resolution Possible
The decision, which was at least a hundred pages long, said “Neither your walk, nor your behavior nor your clothing give the slightest indication that you could be gay.” This offensive generalization has boiled the blood of Hassan and many other homosexuals and activists across the world.
Generalizations Uncalled For
Queer Base had many other inappropriate claims in their decision. They also said they rejected Hassan because he wasn’t sociable nor peaceful, compared to the general image of the gay man. Austria is generally L.G.B.T.Q. friendly, so many people were surprised by the asylum’s blatant discrimination.
No Place To Call Home
During that time, Hassan was convinced that there is no place in the world where he can live and be himself at the same time. He was once again forced to make the same choice: live as somebody else, or try and fail to live somewhere else. Those were the only two choices given to him every time. This led him into an unavoidable, gaping pit of depression.
When this experience hit the public, they were not hesitant with their response. Hundreds of people started protesting at the headquarters of Queer Base, arguing that they have no right to have that name if they can’t live up to it. Even though many people took time from their schedule to do this, it didn’t get Hassan any closer to finding a new home…
A House That Isn’t Home
Hassan still currently lives in Austria, but nobody knows if he remains homeless or if he found a place to live in. Even if he did find a house or apartment to live in, his depression will still linger with him until he finds a place that he can be truly accepted and liked in. The embarrassment he suffered through his lifetime caused him to hide himself from the public to this day.
Oppression Lives In Human Blood
Even though homosexuality appears to be accepted by the public in other places in the world, Hassan’s terrible experience is even more proof that the world is still full of societies where a home for a homosexual is too much to ask for. The sad truth is that having a unified world of equality is a distant dream that is impossible to reach, for now, and likely forever.